Shoot: Candid Child Portraits
- [Julia] So, Miss Sweat Girl, I'm going to have you stand right here. Look at this outfit, I love it. Fashionista. Okay. So, let's put Mr...we just don't have a name for her, do we? What's her name? Miss what? You don't know. We should give her a name. How about Miss Rainbow? Because, she's like rainbows, right? Yeah? Do you think that they... Excuse me. Do you think that they eat rainbows? Wouldn't that be funny? They eat rainbows? Do you think that would change their color? I think it might too. So, who's your favorite princess? - [Evvie] Cinderella. - Cinderella. Do you have glass slippers like Cinderella? Not yet? Maybe next year for Christmas, huh? Were you a good girl? Did Santa bring you lots of presents? He did, huh? Oh, my goodness. Okay. So, let's put Miss Rainbow right there. She's going to hang out with us, right? Okay. So, are you ready to be a rockstar? Let's...this is Lulu, right? Did I get the name right? Lulu? Okay. It's really important that we get the name right, so...
just hang on to Lulu. Do you have lots of money in that bag? No? You don't have $1 million in that bag? Wouldn't that be cool? To have $1 million in that bag? No? No? Okay. So, do you have any siblings? Any brothers or sisters? No? It's just you? Does that mean that you get everything you want, huh? Does that mean you get everything you want? - No. - No, it doesn't, huh? So, mommy and daddy don't give you everything that you want? Okay, I'm switching it down to F/2.2 at 320 because I'm a little hot and overexposed. So, I'm taking a little test shot. You're doing awesome Miss Evvie, you just hang out there for a second while I get my P's and Q's straight up. My P's and Q's are all messed up so I got to fix them. Okay? Okay, sounds good. That's a little hot too, go up to 600th of a second. And let's see how that turns out. I love your outfit. That's a little better. It's hard to tell sometimes with these monitors too because they're not quite accurate. Okay. So, let's see. Do you like broccoli? No? Isn't broccoli awesome? It's green and tasty. No? Has your mom ever put lemon juice on it? Those lemon juice, it's awesome. Next time, you tell her to put lemon juice on it. It's tasty with lemon juice, okay? Do you like lemonade? Oh, it's tasty. Pink or regular? Pink? I like pink lemonade because it tastes like bubble gum. Do think it tastes like bubble-gum? No? Okay, I want you to grab your dress and give me a big twirl. Let's get rainbow out of there. She's going to help me. She's going to press the button. Think she can do it? I don't know. Okay, Miss Rainbow, you have to take a good picture. Okay, you're ready? Rainbow's going to do it. Is she going to do it? She's going to...oh, look at that, such a good picture. Now, can you twirl your dress? I want to see you spin. Spin that dress. Spin all the way around. Twirl, twirl, twirl. Good job. Okay, can you spin all the way around, make yourself dizzy? Oh, my goodness. Oh, my goodness. Okay, I need that fan in here too. Can we pop that fan? We're going to make you cool you down, make your hair go fly. Sound good? And Rainbow's going to help me out. Oh, good job. Perfect. B, thank you. Awesome. Does that feel good? Is it working? Awesome. It's a little weak. There we go. Can we put the jacket up a little bit so it's a little more level with her head? Perfect. There, does that feel good? Okay. Now, your job is to twirl, okay? You need to twirl, right? Are you going to twirl your dress? Make it fly. Oh, Rainbow's going to fall. Awesome stuff. Perfect. Okay. Now, don't let Rainbow fall off my head, okay? Don't let Rainbow fall off my head. Uh-oh. Uh-oh. Uh-oh. Don't let Rainbow fall. Don't let Rainbow fall. Is she falling? Oh, no. I thought I told you to keep him on my head. Yeah? I thought I told you to keep him on my head. Got to do the twirl one more time? Okay, just stay still, no twirling needed. But you need to keep Rainbow right here. Can you do it? Keep Rainbow right there. Okay. With all your mental might, don't let it move. Think you can keep him there? Uh-oh he's falling. Oh, no, oh, my God. Oh, no. Perfect. You did it again. Didn't I tell you to keep him there, huh? Okay. Now, I want rockstar status. Can you give me big arms up? Rockstar? There we go. Awesome. Okay, let's put Lulu down. Let's put Lulu down. There we go. Perfect. Now, I want rockstar status. Yeah, touchdown. Did your daddy play football with you? Touchdown. Higher, higher, higher. And Rainbow fell off. Okay. Now, we're going to pretend to jump like a frog. Can you do that? So, what I want you to do is like this. down low, copy me. Can you play Simon Says? Copy me. And then, we're going to jump like that. Okay? You think you can do it? Okay, when I count to three. Ready? Ready? Okay. Are you ready? One. Two. Three. Okay, one more time. We'll do it one more time. You're so good at this. I can't believe how good you are at this. Okay. One, two, three. Awesome. Ready? One, two, three. Perfect. One more time? One, two, three. Perfect. Awesome. Okay. So, this is one of those things that you have to do over and over again because you just never know if it's going to come out with each shot you take, okay? But, let's see (inaudible). I love Lulu sitting down there. Lulu is the man, huh? Do you think Lulu can stay on your head just like Rainbow can stay on mine? You try it? I didn't make it work, did I? Try one more time, you do it too. I want to see Lulu on your head. Perfect. One more time, see if you can do it. Okay, I got to keep Lulu on your head, and you keep Rainbow on my head. You're ready? One more time. Good job, peanut. My goodness, she's so good. Good job. Perfect. Okay, next, we should throw Lulu in the air, don't you? Give him a little toss in the air. Go for it. Perfect. Awesome. Okay. So, again, this is fast shutter speed action, of course. One more time, let's try it. Perfect. You're going to take a lot of shots and not get what you want all the time. Okay? Oh my gosh, she's so cute. You are such a good sport. One more time, try it. Perfect. And sometimes, the best shots are when the objects come down. Okay, good job. One more time. Perfect. And when you give a child something to do like this, they have the best time and then, of course, you get awesome expression and fun shots. Okay, Miss Evvie, you can take Rainbow because he is such a good helper, but I want you to bring him back because he's going to need to help me again, don't you think? Yeah, I think he'll need to help me again. So, bring Lulu and unicorn Rainbow back. Okay, but you're going to go and get changed in your jeans and your t-shirt, and we get to play with some balloons. Sound good? But, I'm going to need their help. So, you promise you'll bring them back for me? - Yes. - Okay, little kiss goodbye. Okay. We'll see you in a minute. Let's go get her jeans and white shirt. So, giving kids something to do is what will give you time. I mean She would have kept going for 25 more minutes, she's like, "This is fun." Okay. And it also makes it a positive experience for them and they'll want to come back and do it again. Now, will you shoot a lot more to get the shot? Of course, because, you know, this is one of those things where 1 shot out of 15 is the one you want. Okay? But, I love the style of shooting because it's so them. If we go back to some of the shots of her just standing there with the expression and like trying to put the thing on her head, like that is what mom sees every day. That is what mom sees in her house on a constant basis where her little girl will come out of her closet dressed like that with sparkly blue shiny shoes, Ariel socks, and a polka dot dress. Do you know what I mean? I mean, that is six, okay? And then, she's going to be super excited. And, honestly, parents always stress about what to wear in a shoot. I just tell them, "Let the kid dress themselves." Now, granted, if I'm doing a group portrait, it's a little different but when I am doing individual shots of a child like this, I mean, the pug sweater with the pug on her head, I mean, how much cuter can you get, right? So, let the child be themselves. And then, when you engage them, and play, and doing something fun all of a sudden they're natural, just who they are comes out. And you will have a parent say to you, "That is so my child. You so captured my child." And every time they look at it, I mean, I would love a shot like this of my kid at three or four years old, like, doing his thing in his big, you know, rain boots and carrying his lovey, and with a hat on his head that he picked out of Daddy's closet, you know. That's him. Okay? Yes. - [C] So, and grab a mike if you have any questions in here are. Just a couple of, to review, this is from (inaudible) who says, "Where is the camera focused in the jumping like a frog pose?" So, as they're moving around, normally, earlier, you talked about if they're still, focusing on the eye closer... - Good job. - But, what if they're moving? - Yeah, and I thought about saying this in the middle of shooting but I was so focused on getting the shot that I didn't say it. When she's down low, that's why I tell her to count to three, okay? Or I say, "On three, jump." When she's down low like this, I have a lot of negative space above her and I'm focused and focus point on her face. When I want her to jump, I'm moving the focus point to the top of the screen where I know her face will land. Then, I move the camera, before I ask her to jump, I move the camera to her face, tell her to jump, up, click. I go with her. Does that I make sense? So, I know she's staying in focus. Now, I will use back button to freeze the focus in this kind of situation. Does that make sense? So, like, I'm going to unplug for a second. I've got my focus point down at the bottom, okay? So, I'm down here at the bottom, I snap a shot of her down low like this, okay? Then, I move the focal point up to the upper middle where I know she's going to land, okay, while I'm counting to three. Okay, ready to jump? One, two, I'm moving focus point, then I go down here to where she is on the floor, focus, press lock, and then follow her up and hit when I meet her at the right moment. Okay? Again, it's not going to get sharp every time. Matter of fact, if you look close on these things, probably, some of them aren't sharp. But, and this is fast action fun, if it makes sense. Not every shot is going to be nailed. You can't. It's almost impossible. So, I mean, I'm not that good. I'm sure there's some people who can do it but... So just keep in mind that it takes a little more practice to get this right. But, as you do it more and more, you will get there. Yes, Amelia? - [Amelia] You're shooting single shot, right? You don't have it at continuous. - I have it on single. Actually, I have it on continuous low. You can do it on single, if you want. But, single will not take the image unless it's sharp. Like, it won't take it (inaudible), like pressed down on your camera, and it won't take it, it's because it's not in focus. Okay? So, if you go to a continuous low or a continuous high, it'll take the shot anyway. Okay? You will just risk that it might not be in focus. So, if you really want everything absolute all the time in focus, lock it down. Okay? But, I don't want to miss the shots so I'll sacrifice a little bit of sharpness to get the shot. Does that makes sense? So, that's why I work in continuous. - Would you do a continuous focus and continuous shooting? Or is that...? - Yeah, you can. You can. I find that continuous focus is, I don't know, I've played around with it. I don't, for me and probably because I'm not using it right, I don't find it as accurate as me controlling the camera. But, I know sports photographers who swear by it. So, my recommendation would be to try it, play with it, get good at it, and see if you like it, and then evaluate it from there is probably what I would recommend. It's one of those things where you just do something for so long, you know, before continuous focusing even came out, it was just how I did it. So, it's like this whole new technology that I haven't really gotten into yet, if that makes sense. So, try it out. If it works for you, great and awesome. Go for it. I haven't been able to make it work well for me. - Still on sharp, one more question. Would you, then, maybe just adjust your aperture to give yourself more? - Yes. Yes. And I was shooting at F2 and F2.5, between those two things. The other thing that is challenging and, I'm going to show you the difference in this when we go to strobes tomorrow. I don't ever really shoot this in natural light because of the reasons we're talking about now. It's really hard to get sharp images because you're relying on aperture and shutter speed to do it. How many of you have gone outside and things are just still a little soft? Like, you take a shot, you're pretty sure it's sharp, and then you get home and you're like, or you print it, "Gosh, it's not that sharp. Why isn't it sharp? Like, everything seemed right, why isn't it sharp?" The difference between using strobe and natural light is dramatic. The strobe, because it's firing so fast, freezes the action. So, whenever I'm doing shots like this now, and I just switched over about a year ago to doing strobe and continuous light in my studio, when I'm doing fast action shots like that, I use the strobe because I know the strobe will get it. It will freeze the action and it will come out tack sharp, and I'm also shooting at F9, F10, F12, F16, apertures that allow for a deep focal plane. Okay? So, that is one of the differences between strobe and continuous light. A lot of people say, "Oh, should I buy continuous lights first or strobe?" Honestly, it depends on what kind of shooting you're doing. When you're trying to get children jumping up in the air, strobe is the best bet. Can you still get it like this? Of course, you've seen it here. We can do it. So, you have to graduate with the equipment that goes to your skill level, and your budget, and all those kinds of things. But, now that I know what strobe does as far as freezing the action, I won't shoot these kind of action shots unless I'm actually using a flash that can freeze the action. This is going to be so fun. Okay. So, I'm going to need Lulu's help and Rainbow's help. Can I take them? Do you trust me? Is that okay? Can I babysit them for a few minutes? Okay? Will you pay me to babysit them? No. I don't have any money. Okay, let's put them right here so they have a spot they can watch you. Okay, awesome. Okay, you want to play with some balloons? Won't that be fun? Let's get the backlights on here, make it go white so it's nice and bright. Let that warm up for a bit. Now, she's short. Okay? Right? She hasn't grown up all the way yet. So, we want to keep the lights at her level. And what you'll notice as you, you know, work with Windows and continuous lights and things like that, like, for me to put the light way up high would do no good at all at an adult level. So, I got to keep it down low to her. Oh my gosh, you are so pretty. Okay, I'm waiting for that light to warm up a little bit. It takes a minute for these things to... And I'm going to angle it a little like that. Why am I doing that? Jude, what? - [Jude] [inaudible] - Yeah. But, why am I angling it instead of making it go like straight? See what I'm doing? Kind of like angling it like that. - [Woman] So, the fraction is... - Because, if I put it flat right here, think about the inverse square law, fall off. Okay? It's going to be bright, way bright, you can see it. It's going to be way brighter over here than it is over there, right? If I pull it away from the background and angle it, I'll still have that problem but not nearly as great. Okay? Thank you, Derrick. So, instead, I'm going to kind of go like that, but I got to make sure that it's, and this is one of those things where subjects and... No, that's still going to be too bright but that's okay, it happens. The nice thing about this continuous lights is what you see is what you get. Because you can see, there's still a hot spot over there on the left, on the background, but it's better than it was. So, I'm going to go ahead and just go with it. The other thing we have to be aware of is that this light is on her. Do you see it? This light is lighting her. So, I'm going to have her come forward just a little bit. Perfect. Good job, Peanut. Okay. She's so easy. You're such a good listener. You make such good choices. I bet your mommy loves that, huh? Yeah, she does. Okay. Now, if I had my druthers, what I would do is pull this background out even further to give her more room to work with. Because I know the minute she goes back that way, this light's going to hit her and I'm not sure I want that to happen. Okay? So, I'm just going to go with it and see what happens and go from there. Okay. So, now my dear, we're going to balloon party. Are you ready? Shall we see what's inside? Kids love presents, don't they? It's kind of like a present, isn't it? You want to play? Okay. So, I think we should, I need to have an assistant, Belinda? Belinda's going to help me. Did you meet Belinda? Did you say hi? Belinda is my friend. - (inaudible) - Yeah, she helps me with this stuff. We're going to, basically, pour the balloons over her head. - [Belinda] Okey-dokey. - Won't that be fun? Okay, now, let's come over here. Perfect. Okay. Good job, sweetie. Okay, Lulu and Rainbow are helping me out. I totally named your unicorn, I hope that was okay. Okay. Keep my lens here going. I'm going to go and increase my aperture, see if we can do this. Okay. So, I'm going to increase my aperture to 5/6, maybe 6/3, I don't know if it'll work yet. But, what do I have to do? I have to, like, I got to keep my shutter speed pretty fast because I'm working with balloons and a moving kid, right? So, if I go down to 1, 2, 3/20th of a second, now the only thing that will allow me to have a change in exposure is my eyes, right? So, I'm going to have to crank up my ISO. Let's do a quick test mirroring off her face, you know. I'm going to crank up the ISO even more. And let's just go with...it says I'm a little underexposed. Let's check that and see what happens. It's not bad actually. We're going to go ahead and crank it up even more but now, as you can see, I'm a 1250 ISO, trying to get that aperture with a deeper focal point. Okay? So, hopefully, more things will be in focus. So, this is one of the issues with natural light especially in an indoor situation where you're working with a window. Sometimes, this is considered low light situation. You're not going to be able to...you've got to crank up that ISO in order to get the depth of field. Okay? So, with that being said, outside is a different story because there's so much light outside, right? Now, this is where the difference between a full frame and a DX crop sensor come into play. With a full frame, you can crank up your ISO and not get a lot of what we call "noise artifacting," see that on your images where it's that...in the old days, we used to call it grainy as a high ISO on film. But, grain is pretty noises kind of ugly. So, a full frame sensor is going to control that noise a little bit more because it's a larger area that the camera is receiving light on and information. A DX sensor will give you more noise. So, these are all factors you got to weigh when you decide to crank up your ISO. Okay, so I'm working with a full frame camera, we're going to try it, see what happens, I definitely I'm going to have grainier images but I'll also have a deeper plane of focus. Makes sense? Okay. So, I think Miss Balloon is going to throw a bunch of balloons at you. How does that feel? Oh my gosh, she's so freaking cute. I think we are, let's double check this image really quick. It's a little dark. It's so funny because it turns out lighter on the monitors than it does on the computer. So, I'm going to go ahead and grow up to 1600. Okay. Awesome. Are you ready? She's going to do it. You can catch them if you want. Perfect. Okay, that was awesome. Okay, can you throw them up in the air for me, cutie? Punt them. Awesome. Perfect. You can run around and get whatever color you want. Perfect. What color do you think you should...you like the purple the best? Huh? Is purple awesome? Okay, let's sit down. Can you sit down for me, crisscross up? There we go. That's perfect. You can sit just like that. I love it. A lot. Okay, gather them all around you. Can you make a birthday cake around you? Yeah? Oh, good job, peanut. Good job. Okay. I probably should have thrown her back a little bit. Okay. Evvie, there we go. Can you brush your hair out of your eyes for me? There we go. Perfect. Good job, Peanut. You got a lot of hair there, huh? Has it been growing the whole time? She's like, "I love these balloons." Okay, perfect. Did you make a little circle around yourself? How many balloons are there? - One, two, three, (inaudible). - 9, 10 balloons. Oh, there is a stray one. How many does that make? - (inaudible) - Is that 11 or 10? - 10. - 10 balloons. Okay. So now, I have a question. Do balloons stack up on top of one another? Can you make a tower? No. That doesn't happen, does it? Try it again. How could you make a tower? Doesn't work. Do you think one would stay on your head? Oh, I don't know. I don't know. Have you ever made your hair all staticky with a balloon? Can you rub it in your hair? Yeah, rub it on your hair. B, will you help her like on the side of her head? Get it at all? Belinda's going to help you get your hair all staticky. Sound good? Ready? Turn around. There you go. Look at you. Cute girl. Okay, I'm going to move closer. So, I want to see your cool, fuzzy hair. Okay. So now, that light is definitely...here we go. Okay, let's see your fuzzy hair. Right? Let's make it nice. Belinda is going to help you make it fuzzy again. Yeah, let's do the wiggle. Shall we do the balloon wiggle on your hair? Huh? - Are you ready? - Oh, my goodness. Show me. Cute girl. Oh, she's so cute. Awesome. Okay. So now, what are you going to make? - I don't know. - You don't know, huh? You don't know, huh? Do you think that Lulu wants to join you? What do you think? Does Lulu want a balloon? Perfect. Oh, my gosh, she's so cute. Can you make him stand up? Yeah? Yeah. Perfect. Okay. So, I think you guys get my point that giving them something to do is what gives you...then they start doing stuff like I got to...okay, that giving them something to do is what helps them, you know, kind of relax and actually have some fun with...And sometimes, guys, I will literally just sit here and wait to see what they do. Yeah. Perfect. Okay. So, awesome job sweet. Do we have any questions? Do we have any, like about kids and how they act and behave and connection? I think a lot of this is just working with them and knowing what makes them tick. Kids seriously, one of the best things you can do is watch kids' cartoons and like learn all these Disney characters, and the fun things that are on TV that they are engaged with every day pretty much, the games that are out there. Like, my kid's starting to get into Minecraft now and like I don't even know what Minecraft was two years ago, you know. So, if you get into these things and you talk to him about it, like she loves Cinderella, right? Is your favorite? Yeah? What about the wicked stepsisters? No, they're not very nice, are they? So, what about, who's your favorite, you know what I really like? Those mice that turn, they turn to horses, right? Is that what it is? The mice turn into horses? What does the pumpkin turn into? - The carriage. - The carriage? Do you have a carriage at your house? Were you Cinderella for Halloween? - Yeah. - You were. Did you have glass slippers? - No. - No. Why not? Look at her hair. What are you making? Are you making something for me? I'm kind of waiting for the balloons to get out of her face like as she moves them. That's so funny. Are you making a bouquet of balloons? - Yes. - Yeah? You get them all in there? She's very focused on her job. Oh, no. You missed it. Okay. - [Woman] What would you do differently if there was two kids? - If there was two kids? Yeah, that's when you stay and pray a little bit. And I would definitely kind of start them out together. I would put them on stools. I would...like, one of the great things, let's go ahead and pop these balloons all the way and I'll show you what I would do. Stay there for a minute, Evvie. These kinds of chairs or stools, thanks very much, stools that allow kids to climb. Like this is...you can hop up for second. You want to get on the chair? Yeah, why don't you hand that purple balloon to B.? Let's make sure Lulu doesn't get crushed, huh. So, you'll see they love to climb things. And it's the cutest thing ever. Let's just go ahead and spot her real quick right there. And if there's two siblings, I will let one sit and the other climb. Do you know what I'm saying? And then, they will fight, of course, on who gets the chair, which makes for some awesome images. Sorry, B. Okay, can you know raise that up a little bit? So, yeah, I will make two children vie for something like a stool, simple as a stool. You can stay there. You're doing awesome sweetie. Rainbow's watching you. Yeah, see he's looking at her and (inaudible). Are you kidding me? This is awesome, huh? Okay, can you sit down on it? Awesome. And I'm not going to do it here because I'm not in my own situation, I don't know how story that stool is. I will literally let them stand on the stand on this chair too. That's so taboo like they're not allowed to do that at home so they get a kick out of it. But, I will let her get on her knees on the stool. So, B, I will just have you watch her to make sure... - Yeah. - Perfect. Okay, no. Just sit on your knees. Perfect. There. You feel safe? Feel pretty good? Yeah. Yeah, it's all in. Okay. But, yeah, some of these tools that have the climb up, you know, the little bar on the bottom is awesome because you'll have two kids who will vie for it. Or two stools, one higher than the other. Well, that's interesting. Do that. Because then, they are just like sometimes you'll have them both on piled on one chair and the little stool will be empty and it's the best shot ever because it tells a story. Because no one wants the little stool, they all want the big stool. They all want to be big, and that's classically the behavior that they exhibit in the home. And so, parents love the image. So, don't be afraid to have an empty stool in your shot. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that. (Inaudible). What's Miss B doing? - (inaudible) - Yeah? What is Adam doing? Wait, where is Adam? Where'd he go? What's Adam doing? Yeah? What do you think he's doing? Is he looking at you? Is he not looking at you? What's he doing? I don't know. Oh, oh, my camera's broken. Oh, my goodness. It's broken. Yeah. Oh, that face is awesome. Okay. It's not. Okay, I was just teasing you. It's not broken. No. Thank you. Okay, any other questions? Does that answer your question about the two? Now, in a loose environment with the two, (inaudible) balloon, (inaudible). Like, I might consider putting a stool in there and kind of containing one of them on the stool, if that makes sense. You just have to be really careful with younger kids that they don't fall over or top off or anything like that. But, sometimes containing one of them while the other one runs around is hilarious. I will put children underneath the stool. One of my classic shots is to put the younger sibling down there and the older one on top, and they get a huge kick out of that. When you put them in these hierarchical environments, I mean, the older one's like, "You're down there," and then the other one's like looking up, and it's just the classic relationship between the two of them. So, containing them is a great idea. Stools work great. Buckets work great for super, super little ones. But I've even put six-month-olds who can actually sit up underneath the stool like that, and then the two siblings, one standing up on the edge there, one sitting, one standing, and it's awesome. They love it.